Well I guess it has been quite a while since I last posted. The last six months have been a whirlwind…
First I started a new job as a Physician Clinical Support Analyst at Memorial Herman in the Texas Medical Center. The last time I worked in the Med Center was early 2001, when I was still an ICU Nurse. Boy have things changed! I forgot how large and sprawling the hospital complexes are. My facility, which is a teaching hospital and Level I Trauma Center, always has something innovative and exciting going on. I work with a great team, and even though I have only been there five months I am enjoying the work. We train all of the new incoming resident and attending Physicians on the EHR, as well as work on a multitude of other projects to help enhance Clinician use of all things digital.
Then this happened…
My husband and mother-in-law
I FINALLY GRADUATED! My three year journey to obtain my Masters in Applied Healthcare Informatics from SBMI finally concluded in May. The graduation ceremony was a blur and at the TMC X facility, which looks like an exciting place to work. The first few weeks after graduation I actually had this nagging feeling I was forgetting to take a quiz, or finish editing a paper. It definitely took me a while to shift out of “school mode”. I’m proud that I took the leap three years ago and applied to SBMI, but also a little sad it is now all over.
At the HIMSS TX event in Houston
So what’s next? I’ve recently become involved in Houston HIMSS as well as ANIA Houston. I’ve been at my new job almost six months now, but there is still so much to learn. In some aspects I am starting over professionally, as this is a very different type of job for me. This is also the first summer in six years I don’t have a school nurse schedule, so no summer break for me! I am still in touch with my NASN and JJSHLP friends, but sadly I will not be able to attend NASN2016 this year. I’ll be busy with my team training all of the new UT Resident Physicians. More updates soon!
So I wasn’t able to attend the ANIA annual conference this year, but I have been following all of the goings on via #ANIA15. I have been so fortunate to be a part of the ANIA Social Media workgroup chaired by the fantastic Dr. Cheryl Parker, and we have been tweeting with @ANIAInformatics– Cheryl directly from the conference, and me from home. Hopefully next year I can attend in person!
If you’re like me and couldn’t make it to HIMSS15 this year, you can follow along with all of the posts via Twitter at #HIMSS15. For someone new to the industry such as myself, following conference posts is a great way to keep up with the latest and greatest, and get a sense of what is important in the field.
Also check out the posts from the American Nursing Informatics Association at @ANIAInformatics. They are at HIMSS15 as well!
It looks like Spring is finally here! I am sitting in my sunny living room with the windows open, loving this beautiful weather. The semester is winding down, for both my school nurse job and my graduate program. Some exciting news to report- my article on School Nurses and social media is going to be published this May in the NASN School Nurse journal! I am very proud of this accomplishment, and can’t wait to see it both online and in the journal. There will be a podcast to go along with the article, so stay tuned for that. I am also going to present a poster on the same topic at the NASN Annual conference in Philadelphia this summer, which will be a great experience.
My family and I spent Spring Break in Washington, D.C. this year. My Houston born kids were over the moon when we landed and there was snow on the ground. We had a very busy week sightseeing at all of the popular places there- the National Mall and Monuments, the Smithsonian museums, the Holocaust museum, and Arlington cemetery. It was a fun week, and I am glad we got to spend some quality family time together.
This time next year I will be graduating from SBMI with my Healthcare Informatics Masters degree, so I am beginning my job search for an Informatics position. It’s time to start putting all those theories into practice! It’s always nerve wracking to shift gears and move in a different direction professionally, but that has always been the case with my nursing career. I’m still going to keep ties with my school nursing colleagues, as I think there are still some untapped opportunities there. I have been fortunate to be a member of several committees and workgroups at the regional, state and national level, and I am constantly learning new things from my colleagues. And just when I thought I was done completely with school, I learned of this. DNP, anyone? Maybe I’m not done after all!
Check out this interesting 6 month study using wearable devices by Addapp Labs. You first have to download their app, and set up an account. Next go and sign up for the study on their website, and answer a few questions about what type of data you currently track, what you are interested in, and why they should choose you to wear one of the devices for 6 months. They will contact you if you meet the requirements for the study. You can also follow Addapp on Twitter for updates. Patient collected data is the wave of the future, and I think there are enormous benefits to it’s use. I am keeping my fingers crossed that I am selected for this study!
Personally I think the more control people have over their own data, the more invested they will ultimately be in their health. And I think there is a large amount of uncollected data that can be used to help complete the picture of a person’s overall health and wellness. (School Nurse data, anyone?) This data can be of enormous use to clinicians to help them care for their patients. The trick is figuring out how to best collect it, and then how to apply and use it.
I have made it through yet another semester of grad school! This one was tough, I have to admit. Learning to work in Tableau was very challenging, but I hope to be able to use it again in the future. I have always found that to become proficient in a new software program, you have to work in it on a daily basis, and have a resource person you can contact as needed. After this semester, I won’t really have any opportunity to work in this program in the immediate future. I learned a lot about Tableau this semester, but I also learned what I don’t know about data and statistical analysis. That’s the beauty of going back to school I suppose- you realize there are vast new worlds of knowledge that you know nothing about.
Even though I have been a nurse for almost 18 years, I am slightly embarrassed to admit I just recently joined the ANA. I have been pleased with their online offerings, and have really been watching their posts about the ANA Leadership Institute. ANA members get access to free webinars, such as this one on January 29th on “Creating a Culture of Ownership”. I also recently ordered the newest edition of the Nursing Informatics Scope and Standards of Practice via nursebooks.org, and received an ANA member discount. There are numerous benefits to belonging to your professional organization, but the free resources and discounted publications are definitely one of the best benefits.